Renacci Likens DeWine to Democrat Governors Cuomo, Newsom in Latest Campaign Ad

GOP gubernatorial contender Jim Renacci has stepped up his campaign against incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in a social media ad likening the governor’s language and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic to prominent Democrat governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsome of California.

The Renacci for Governor campaign’s 30-second ad this week calls DeWine “Democrat DeWine” for the way the incumbent handled the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

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Tennessee Attorney General Joins Lawsuit Against Google

Tennessee will be the 37th state to join a massive anti-trust lawsuit against tech giant Google.

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced Wednesday that Tennessee will band together with the other states in the lawsuit in an attempt to combat what they see as anti-competitive trade practices. 

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Commentary: What Americans Lost When We Abandoned the Secret Ballot

Person putting mail-in ballot in ballot return box

My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.

Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?

Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.

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Three Scientists Remove Their Names from Lancet Statement Denouncing Lab-Leak Theory

Doctor with protective gloves handling vaccine

Although the magazine Lancet has doubled down on its efforts to defend China and claim that there is no evidence behind the lab-leak theory of the coronavirus origins, three prominent scientists who originally agreed with this assessment were absent from the magazine’s latest statement, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

On July 5th, the magazine published yet another statement, with numerous signatories, claiming that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the suspicious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Although many of the names signed onto the statement were the same as those who made a similar assertion back in February of 2020, at least three names are missing.

One of the names is William Karesh, who serves as the executive vice president for health policy at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. As has been widely documented, EcoHealth was a major benefactor of the WIV, providing gain-of-function research funding directly to the institute after the funds had been granted to the nonprofit by the United States government.

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Exclusive Premiere: Jarod Grubb’s Tiki Bar on the Beach

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  About as far away as you can get from a beach, Jarod Grubb grew up near Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.

Like many young boys, his dream was to be a professional baseball player. And he was good enough to get a scholarship to play baseball in college.

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Vanderbilt University Joined Consortium to Study Legacy of Slavery, Racial Injustice

Vanderbilt University announced last month that it joined the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) consortium to further fight racial injustice and foster inclusivity on campus. According to the USS website, consortium membership means Vanderbilt University will probe its history for slavery or racism.

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier praised Vanderbilt University’s decision to further engage in introspection on its systemic inequity and racism.

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Roger Simon on the Need for True Republican Leadership at the State Level in Tennessee and Georgia

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and Editor-At-Large for The Epoch Times Roger Simon in studio to discuss the imbalance of Conservative Tennesseans and Georgians versus their elected leaders.

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Business Insider Compiles Database to Track Former Trump Officials

President Donald Trump meets with (from left) U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price; Vice President Mike Pence; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; Dr. Zeke Emanuel; and Andrew Bremberg, Dir. Domestic Policy Council, Monday, March 20, 2017, in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Benjamin Applebaum)

A Business Insider list of former President Donald Trump’s officials tracks where these figures are working since departing the administration, warning that like Trump, these former staffers are “nowhere close to being gone.”

Insider said it combed through the interviews, LinkedIn profiles, and public records of over 327 former Trump staffers and compiled a searchable database “to show where they all landed.”

The publication noted that almost 100 former staffers have obtained “establishment” jobs, that over 40 of these former Trump officials still work in the government or in politics, and that at least 85 have gone “off the grid with no information available about their next move.”

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Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Hillary Clinton’s Pick for Ohio Special Election

Shontel Brown of Ohio

The Congressional Black Caucus’s political arm waded into the Democratic Primary for an Ohio special election Wednesday, endorsing Hillary Clinton’s preferred candidate, Politico reported.

The CBC Political Action Committee put their support behind Shontel Brown, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair, who already has the backing of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, according to Politico.

“She is no stranger to adversity and has spent her career fighting for Ohioans. Shontel Brown worked alongside community leaders to install public wifi hotspots in the Greater Cleveland area in order to improve access to broadband, helping to close the digital divide,” CBC PAC executive director Yolonda Addison said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Commentary: Naming the Capitol Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed January 6 Rioter Ashli Babbitt

US Capitol Police at The Supreme Court

Most police departments — including Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police — are required to release an officer’s name within days of a fatal shooting. Not the U.S. Capitol Police, which is controlled by Congress and answers only to Congress. It can keep the public in the dark about the identity and investigation of an officer involved in a shooting indefinitely.

Which is what happened with the Jan. 6 shooting of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed protester in the U.S. Capitol riot who was fatally wounded by a plainclothes police lieutenant as she attempted to breach a set of doors inside the building. 

For the past six months, as Congress has proposed legislation to reform  police departments across the country, the Capitol Police has stiff-armed government watchdogs, journalists and even lawyers for Babbitt, who have sought the identity of the officer and additional details about the shooting. The USCP still refuses to release his name, in stark contrast to recent high-profile police shootings around the nation.

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Roger Simon Weighs in on the Curious Case of Former GOP Chairman Allen West’s 2022 Run for Texas Governor

Allen B. West

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss former GOP Chair Allen West’s opportunistic history and his run for Texas governor in 2022.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 373,000, Above Economists’ Predictions

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Commentary: A Warning About Joe Biden’s Power Plan

Joe Biden

With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.

Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Talks Tennessee’s New Idea of Paying Out-of-State Tourists $250 to Visit the Volunteer State

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss the new Tennessee On Me initiative promoted by Governor Lee and country artist Brad Paisley.

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Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘Congressional Term Limits Is Something We Can All Get Behind’

Glenn "Kane" Jacobs

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to explain his motivation for US term limits and his background.

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36 States Sue Google over Alleged Anticompetitive Practices in Play Store

Google Play Store on Android

State attorneys general of 36 states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Wednesday alleging the company engaged in anticompetitive practices in its Play Store for Android.

The complaint argues Google holds and unlawfully maintains a monopoly in the market of “Android app distribution,” using anticompetitive tactics such as blocking competitors from accessing the Play Store, discouraging the creation of competing app stores, and acquiring smaller app developers. The complaint also alleges Google charges app developers up to a 30% commission when customers purchase their products through the Google Play Store.

“Google has taken steps to close the ecosystem from competition and insert itself as the middleman between app developers and consumers,” the plaintiffs argue.

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Chandler Offering $10,000 in Grants for Diversity Education

The city of Chandler, Arizona is offering grants of up to $1,000 each for anyone that can offer diversity education in its K-12 schools. A total of $10,000 may be disbursed for this initiative. Eligible applicants for this annual grant range from individual teachers to schools, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. 

According to the city guidelines, proposals from diversity education projects or programs in K-12 schools will receive first priority. The proposals must include one or more elements of diversity the city listed: age, socio-economic status, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation. 

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Arizona Secretary of State Requests Investigation into Former President Trump and Allies for ‘Election interference’

Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State who recently launched a bid for governor, sent a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich and requested that he open an investigation into former President Donald Trump and his allies over allegations of “election interference.” 

“I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance, but to prevent future attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections. If your ethical duties prevent you from investigating this matter, I ask that you refer it to another enforcement agency,” Hobbs said in her letter to Brnovich.

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Georgia Long-Term Care Facilities Face Financial Hardship from Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on Georgia’s long-term care facilities, officials said.

Devon Barill, communications director for the Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living (GHCA/GCAL), said the facilities have faced increased expenses and revenue losses from caring for the state’s most vulnerable population.

While COVID-19 can lead to severe complications in older people and those with underlying issues, the congregated facilities are often home to the elderly and people who require supportive care.

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Florida Law Appealed by Gun Rights Group

Rick Scott

The National Rifle Association (NRA) filed an appeal in federal court after a judge upheld a Florida law banning Floridians under 21 from purchasing a firearm.

The law was passed in 2018 by the Florida Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott raising the purchasing age as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

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Five Voting-Related Ballot Proposals Seek to Make Arizona 2022 Ballot

Five ballot proposals addressing voting may be on this fall’s ballot if their sponsors collect enough signatures. Three of them, known as referendums, seek to stop legislation from becoming law, requiring 118,823 signatures each. The other ballot initiatives need 237,645 signatures each. Even if all the signatures are collected, a successful legal challenge could keep them off the ballot.

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Federal Judge Denies Arizona Attorney General’s Petition for Federal Government to Complete Deportations Within Required 90 Days

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton denied Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s request to require timely deportations from federal authorities. Federal law states that authorities must deport illegal immigrants within 90 days.

In the ruling, issued last Wednesday, Bolton conceded that the law does require deportations within 90 days at first glance. However, Bolton explained that closer inspection of the law and history rendered its intent dubious.

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Renacci Encourages DeWine to ‘Come Clean’ on Knowledge of Ohio’s Corruption Scheme

Former U.S. Representative and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci called on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to “come clean” to voters on his knowledge of and potential involvement in corruption allegations that have become national news.

“What did DeWine know about the nuclear plant bailout scheme, and when did he know it?” Renacci questioned in his opinion piece published in The Columbus Dispatch.

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Study: Michigan’s Vaccine Lottery Unlikely to Boost Lagging COVID-19 Injections

COVID Vaccine sticker

After Michigan missed President Joe Biden’s vaccine deadline of 70% injected with a first COVID-19 vaccine by July 4, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer bet big on a vaccine lottery, tossing in $5 million of taxpayer-funded prizes.

In the meantime, the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates Michigan won’t reach the 70% benchmark for another year.

As of July 5, the state averaged 4,174 daily doses but only 1,740 first doses (0.1%) of the population.

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Virginia Extends Expanded Childcare Subsidies for the Rest of the Year

Additional childcare subsidies provided during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended until the end of 2021, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.

The state program, which provides financial assistance for childcare services, temporarily loosened the eligibility requirements through July 31, 2021. Northam directed the Virginia Department of Education to continue covering copayments through December 31, using federal COVID-19 relief funds.

“Access to high-quality child care is not only critical to the health and safety of Virginia’s children, but it is also important for advancing a strong, equitable recovery,” Northam said in a statement. “Extending these resources through the end of 2021 will help close the affordability gap for parents and providers, allowing thousands of Virginians to return to work, support their families, and grow our economy.”

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Violence Continues in Uptown Minneapolis, Nightly Destruction

Minneapolis Police armed at riot in the city

The violence in Uptown has continued almost every night since early June, with limited police intervention. A video from Wednesday evening shows a driver doing donuts in the middle of the street as a passenger shoots a gun into the air. The shots were fired by the “peace garden,” the new name for the area protesters gather at where Winston Smith was killed.

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Governor Ducey Appoints Kathryn Hackett King to Arizona Supreme Court

Governor Doug Ducey announced on Thursday that he will appoint Kathryn Hackett King, a member of the Board of Regents, to the state’s Supreme Court.

“Kate’s strong belief in the separation of powers and experience serving in all three branches of government will serve the people of Arizona well,” Ducey described in a statement.

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Michigan State Auditor to Review Nursing Home COVID-19 Deaths

State Auditor Doug Ringler says he will review how many Michiganders died from COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Ringler wrote the June letter to House Oversight Chair Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, over the concerns of inaccurately counted COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

“We will be working with various departments’ databases to address your concerns, which will impact the timing of our work,” Ringler wrote. 

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Nikki Fried Misses Deadline for 2020 Financial Disclosure

Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried has failed to publicly disclose her 2020 financial interests to the Florida Commission on Ethics (FCOE) by last week’s July 1st deadline.

Disclosure of financial interest is required by all constitutional officers as well as candidates for constitutional offices, and is submitted through what is known as Form 6.

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Possible Conflict of Interest Takes Center Stage Before Virginia Gubernatorial Debate

As Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates approach their first possible debate, questions of a possible conflict of interest are muddying the waters. 

The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) has invited both former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat candidate for his old job, and Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor, to debate. The VBA customarily hosts a debate between the state’s gubernatorial candidates. 

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Florida Realtors Back Affordable Housing Constitutional Amendment

The Florida Realtors group has thrown their weight behind a 2022 ballot proposal they would like to see become a Florida constitutional amendment.

The political committee, Floridians for Housing, is putting the proposal forward after the Florida Legislature has worked for years to allocate affordable housing funds for other issues. Specifically, the ballot initiative would “dedicate 25 percent” of revenue generated from documentary-stamp taxes to be budgeted exclusively for affordable housing.

Documentary-stamp taxes are collected, in part, via real estate transactions and real estate groups have been frustrated with the legislature for years for rerouting affordable-housing tax dollars.

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Family of Man Killed by Police Officer in Minnesota Demand FBI Investigation

The family of the man, identified as Ricardo Torres, killed by an Olivia police officer, Aaron Clouse, on Sunday is demanding an FBI investigation of the incident. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, the suspect was shot and killed on Sunday morning after the person supposedly approached the police officer with a weapon in an alleyway.

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Rep. Mark Green Demands Removal of Air Force Academy Teacher Who Spoke Out in Support of Critical Race Theory

Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) sent a letter on Thursday to John P. Roth, the acting secretary of the Air Force, urging the secretary to remove Professor Lynne Chandler García over her comments on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

García, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, recently wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post, where she highlighted her support for teaching CRT to her students.

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